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Baja Boy: The Call of the All-Encompassing Art

Seattle musician Baja Boy and band

With bubbly, catchy synth lines, groovy guitars, and straightforward vocals, Baja Boy drops you into a soundscape of astral delights punctuated with lyrics of loneliness, loss, and coping in the modern world.

This is a band that knows how to make an impression quickly, with songs averaging at about the 2:30 minute mark. The brevity of their songs give the listener bite-sized sonic treats that never get old. With influences like Tame Impala and PORCHES, Baja Boy keep things fresh by adding little twists to the shoe gaze sound that live just outside the genre’s expected parameters.

You can see Baja Boy live at Sound Off! Semifinals February 23.

What does being part of Sound Off! mean to you? 

Christian: It’s a big honor. I never thought I’d be in this position. So, [it’s] very cool experience.

Aidan: For me it’s something that I’ve always dreamed of doing, and I’m happy to be part of it.

Brook: I’ve always held it really high in my head. One of my guitar teachers went through one of the years. I can’t remember how far they got. Either way — their performances were really cool and it was really inspiring, like “Wow, they’re on YouTube.”

Aidan: Yeah, also just KEXP in general. I’m kind of obsessed. I’ve watched all the videos.

Aidan: And seeing all your favorite artists on there and even the chance to meet Troy [KEXP DJ Troy Nelson] is like really fun.

Seattle musician Baja Boy

Why this year?

Christian: My dad always nudged me to apply with a band, but this is kind of like my solo thing. I kind of just submitted it on a whim, and then I got accepted. So then, I asked my band, to play.

Aidan: I feel like, for the most part, [in the past] we weren’t ready to do this. I think now we’re committed to doing this. With this band, in particular. But it has all led up to this point.

Sound Off! participants Baja Boy strike a pose

What artists are currently inspiring the music you create?

Nicon: You have the floor, dude.

Christian: My influences range from listening to The Beatles [when I was] a kid to things I never thought I would listen to, like weird jazz and Charlie Puth. I’ve really been getting into Travis Scott and weird pop music. So, that’s really enjoyable and influential.

Baja boy get close at Sound Off! 2019

Why do you make music? How does it make you feel?

Christian: Until I start[ed] making music seriously, I didn’t really feel like I was enjoying myself. [There was a difference between] doing what I wanted to do and doing what I thought I wanted to do. I would play a bunch of sports, but I didn’t really want to be competitive. So, I just went more into my music knowledge and loved doing it. It’s a hard question.

Aidan: That was probably the same for me. I played soccer and some other sports and then —

Nicon: You were really good at soccer.

Christian: Yeah, you were really good at soccer.

Aidan: It’s just like, yeah. I didn’t want to be competitive anymore. I mean, of course, we’re in a battle of the bands. [laughs]

Nicon: Yeah, it’s kind of terrible for us to say that.

Aidan: But it’s different. I mean we all love music. Everybody that we have met so far is just really kind.

Baja Boy playing around at Sound Off! 2019

Brook: For me, it’s the one art that I do that covers [the] most bases [of the] feelings I want to express. You can draw a picture, and people will look at it and go, “It’s a cool picture.” You know? There’s not much further you can get there. You take a photo and it’s still just like a meditation.

But then music you can be really creative with. It’s just the call of the all-encompassing art that brings everything together.

Nicon: I think one of the main reasons I’ve kind of gotten into music and the reason why I love it so much is the thought of being able to make someone else feel something, mostly toward happiness.

Even in kindergarten, I remember writing [the answer to], “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and everyone’s writing down “fireman” or like “police officer” and stuff and I’m writing, “I just want to be happy.” If I can share happiness around to other people, especially through an art, that’s a dream come true.

What do you hope to achieve through your music?

Christian: I love, like, the relatability of music. Like how sometimes [you] feel like you’re the only one with a problem, but then you’ll hear a song or [a] songwriter talk about that same problem and you’re just like, “Wow, I’m not the only one.

So, it’s like kind of cool [to] connect with people on a weird psychological level.

Baja Boy break the mold at Sound Off!

If your music were a fruit or vegetable, what would it be and why?

Brook: Do you want to talk about our personal music? Like, so you can describe Christian?

Aidan: Yeah

Christian: I think Christian would probably be, I assume something tropical with “baja” in the name so, like, a banana.

Aidan: [laughs] A banana?

Christian: A banana.

Brook: Banana boy.

Christian: But you said vegetable too? Celery gets stuck in your teeth, so I don’t want to be celery.

Brook: Celery also tastes bad.

Christian: Yeah, and celery is really watery and gross.

Aidan: Yeah, celery is gross.

Christian: Yeah. We’ll go with banana

Brook: Banana?

Aidan: Banana’s a fruit.

Christian: Yeah. Well they said a fruit or vegetable.

Aidan: Is eggplant a fruit? 

Brook: Banana is a fruit!

Aidan: Eggplant is a vegetable.

Christian: Ok. What are you?

Nicon: What about you? Go!

Aidan: Ah geez. I ate a carrot today.

Christian: Oh

Nicon: So, your music is a carrot? Because you ate one today?

[Band laughs]

Aidan: I don’t know. I think…gosh.

Christian: You’re pretty carroty.

Aidan: Am I a carrot? I guess I’m a carrot

Brook: You want me to go through my whole thought process?

Nicon: Yeah because I know you got something weird to say.

Brook: A fruit or a vegetable?

Aidan: I’m a persimmon.

[Band laughs]

Brook: It’s hard not to think about just what I ate today.

Aidan: I know! Alright, this is weird, but I made this video today — this is so random — but I set up my camera and I had a bag of carrots. Just a bag of carrots. And I get down and I eat the carrot in front of the camera. It was funny. I thought it was funny.

Nicon: Thank you for that. That was funny

Christian: What would you be, Brook?

Brook: So, what would I be?

Nicon: What’s the first thing that pops up in your head?

Brook: Banana it is! That all I can take it.

[Band laughs]

Christian: We got to go with that.

Brook: It’s banana! I eat bananas so much that that’s the only fruit I could possibly think of.

Aidan: Nicon, go!

Nicon: I actually thought about this for a second. I had a lot of time to think about this. Ok. But, [with] my personal music, because I’m a producer and I produce a lot of artists in my community, I can’t really put myself to a specific sound, or anything like that. So, a fruit would be kind of weird.

Christian: So, what’s the fruit?

Nicon: Probably a dragon fruit because it’s tropical and fluffy along with the fact that the people that I produce are like crazy, like X-style, like dragon, like fire, like impact. That’s my logic behind it.

Christian: Sick.

Check out Baja Boy at Sound Off! Semifinals. Get your tickets right here.

Photos by Nate Watters.

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Adrienne is a writer and editor from Seattle and is MoPOP's Content Wizard (patent pending).

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